Principal Licensure and Building Leadership Certificate

For students who already possess a Master’s degree and want to pursue their initial administrative licensure without pursuing a degree, our principal licensure program meets that need. In this cohort-based program, students are able to complete the eight (8) administrative core courses (24 semester hours) required for principal licensure in Ohio. Most candidates have met the research (6 semester hours) and foundations (3 semester hours) requirements through their Master’s degree program.

It is not necessary to be admitted to a Master’s degree program to work toward an ODE Principal License; however, students enrolled in the Principal Licensure program may transfer up to 9 semester credits from their licensure program into an Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) in the Educational Leadership degree program as long as it is within six years of degree completion. Candidates should be aware that most students need at least 24 semester hours to complete the BGSU/ODE licensure requirements and that the Ed.S. Degree requires 30 semester hours or just two additional courses. Typically, the two additional courses count toward superintendent licensure.

To apply, click on "Application Process" below. Once in the online application, click on "Academic Interest." Under "Degree Type," indicate "Certificate." Under "Program of Study," indicate "Building Level Leadership - Certificate."

A Different Option

Our Educational Specialist Degree (Ed.S.) in Educational Leadership is an advanced degree program for students wishing to pursue an advanced degree beyond a Master’s Degree. Our Ed.S. Degree in Educational Leadership requires 30 semester hours (just 6 semester hours beyond the principal licensure coursework). It is an excellent way to move to the Master’s plus 30 column typical of many salary schedules. Students have six years to complete the degree.

Click here to learn more about a Specialist Degree

Career Paths

Graduates of our principal licensure program serve in primary and secondary schools as well as in district and regional educational centers as teacher leaders, assistant principals, principals, instructional coaches, directors, and consultants.

Program and Licensure Requirements

One of the essential experiences of the Principal Licensure Program is the successful completion of EDAS 6300 (Leadership Practicum/Internship I). This 3-semester hour, hands-on experience is spread over Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters so as to provide the principal candidate a first-hand experience of an entire school year from the perspective of a building principal. Candidates earn 1 semester hour of credit for each semester and must log 75 contact hours of supervised administrative experiences for each hour earned. These administrative experiences are to be spread over the following essential elements of educational leadership:

  1. Visionary leadership
  2. School culture and instructional leadership
  3. School management and organizational leadership
  4. Community collaboration and leadership
  5. Ethical leadership
  6. Political and legal leadership

Once candidates have successfully completed the M.Ed. degree, including passage of the Comprehensive Examination, they must take and pass the ODE/OAE Administrator Exam (015) before an initial administrative license will be issued by the Ohio Department of Education.


Below are the checksheets that list requirements for principal licensure in the grade bands that are listed.

Form for Principals in Grades PreK-6

Form for Principals in Grades 4-9

Form for Principals in Grades 5-12

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Updated: 12/11/2023 10:33AM